Through cooperation with the Rustans Group of Companies, TWG Tea opened their doors in the Philippines in November 7, 2012, which was the seventh international opening for the company. As of this writing, they have six branches in the Philippines, all found within Metro Manila.
They have created a great number of ice cream flavors, some of them inspired by regional favorites and national treats: champorado with dilis (chocolate rice porridge with anchovies), sapin-sapin (colorful layers of rice cake), green mango with bagoong (fish paste), and the legendary leche flan pie. Some are now regulars and others are limited editions.
When I saw my food, I was kind of surprised to see that the burger had a knife stuck to it. Guess they’re assuring me that the meat is dead. Thanks but I don’t think stabbing is needed.
As much as I loved to have Gizmo from Gremlins for company, he had to stay within the glass walls. So it was just Ted who sat with us at our table.
My eyes darted across the whole room. Because it was practically empty, I had a better look at their décor. Empty bottles lined a partition; some hung from the mobile that surrounded lighting fixtures, distracting me from the exposed ceiling. Framed photographs and epigrams, menu specials, and album posters dotted the walls.
I invoked my inner Ebisu, the god of fortune, from the anime Noragami Aragoto and asked for Hamburg Steak. While I may not be a great lover of onions, I found it pleasant that they were included in that hefty patty drizzled with savory sauce. I’ve had Hamburg steaks before but nothing similar to that. I think Ebisu would like this version, even if it’s not from the Olive Tavern.
In mid August, I was surprised when, while scrolling through my Facebook news feed, Kumori had posted an update. It wasn’t about an existing product of theirs. It was about a new item. I didn’t need to know the name. The photo itself was more than enough to tell me what it was.
From the Glorietta Activity Center where we met, we took the scenic route by going way up the fifth floor then taking the escalator well down to the basement, which led to a tunnel that connected it to Glorietta 5, also known as G5. A good excuse for this exercise: they’ve never been to those parts of the mall. It was at the second floor where our walk ended because we arrived at a place where I thought they would love the food.
Is Big Bob still the maker of Whammo’s? What happened between then and now? Why did Whammo’s return? Would Fat Fingers – a yellow cream-filled sponge cake and the second favorite – come back as well?
During the ten minutes we were there, I noticed that the silver stand of shelves was unmanned. Posters reminded people of the rules but no lone crew or professional guard to watch over the goings-on. There was an old man who, after finishing flipping through a novel, reminded a couple of the local kids who raided the collection not to bring any of the books home.
Viewing the collection from Senator Loren Legarda, it looked like a frozen fashion show. All the pieces were delicate and beautiful, like butterflies of plant materials caged by headless and armless mannequins.
A: Saan tayo kakain? (Where will we eat?)
B: Kayo. (You guys [decide].)
C: ‘Yung sa masarap! (Where it’s delicious!)
D: Ikaw bahala. (You [one person] decide.)
E: Kahit saan. (Anywhere.)
F: Kung ano sa ‘yo. (Whatever is yours.)
G: Basta malapit. (Where it’s close.)